New updates are being added at the bottom of this story…….

Original story (published on September 25, 2019) follows:

Unlike Google or OnePlus, Sony devices comes with a complicated bootloader unlock policy.  In fact the procedure is quite similar to Xiaomi or Motorola, where a device specific token is issued from the company and the warranty gets instantly void after unlocking the bootloader.

Google Pixel 3a: The Pixel lineup is pretty friendly towards bootloader unlocking

Here comes the contrast! Despite such a stubborn policy, Sony is actually quite developer friendly. They regularly publish GPL mandated kernel source code for their devices. Their engineers committed truckload of codes in the AOSP (Android Open Source Project), especially in the domain of theming.

The Japanese OEM maintains a special program called ‘Open Devices’. The core idea of this program to help developers and tinkerers to boot vanilla Android on their Sony phones. A handful of devices, including 2019’s Xperia 10 family, are supported.

For some of the Xperia™ devices, we provide Android™ Open Source Project (AOSP) device configurations on GitHub. This means that the software will be open for you as a developer to use and contribute to. This is a way for us to support the open Android community, and it is also a tool for us to facilitate and verify contributions to AOSP.


Here comes the unexpected surprise! Sony rolled out the Android 10 update, but in the form of manually buildable blocks for a bunch of phones via this ‘Open Devices’ initiative. They published an elaborate building guide, and released Android 10 compatible binaries (for 4.14 kernel) for the following phones:

Xperia 10

On the other hand, the NTT Docomo branded Xperia XZ3 (model number SO-01L) getting September patch via a new software update. The build number is 52.0.B.9.249. The regula Xperia XZ3 is, however, still running August security patch.


When do you think Sony will deliver the Android 10 update via stable channel? Let us know by commenting below.

Update 1 (September 26)

After the Japanese variant, Sony is pushing the September security patch for international Xperia XZ3 units. The new build number is 52.0.A.8.157. Details here.

Update 2 (October 4)

Xperia 1 (Kumano) is now supported under Open Devices program. You can download necessary binaries to compile AOSP 10 for the phone by clicking here.

Update 3 (October 19)

NTT Docomo has shared a tentative list of Xperia phones eligible for Android 10 update. Details here.

Update 4 (November 15)

Sony has officially announced the Android 10 update eligibility list and tentative timeline:

Owners of Sony’s premium flagship Xperia 1 and recently announced Xperia 5 will be among the first to receive the new tech, which will be available this December.

Owners of Xperia 10, 10 Plus, XZ2, XZ2 Compact, XZ2 Premium and XZ3 devices can expect to access the upgrade early 2020 onwards.


Update 5 (December 5)

Sticking with their proposed timeline, Sony is now rolling out the stable version of Android 10 update for Xperia 1 & Xperia 5 with November patch. Head over to this article to know more.

PiunikaWeb started as purely an investigative tech journalism website with main focus on ‘breaking’ or ‘exclusive’ news. In no time, our stories got picked up by the likes of Forbes, Foxnews, Gizmodo, TechCrunch, Engadget, The Verge, Macrumors, and many others. Want to know more about us? Head here.

Kingshuk De
896 Posts

I came from a mixed background of Statistics and Computer Science. My research domains included embedded computer systems, mobile computing and delay tolerant networks in post-disaster scenarios. Apart from tinkering with gadgets or building hackintosh, I like to hop on various subreddits and forums like MyDigitalLife and XDA.

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